Top ministers, leaders skip crucial debate in Parliament

Kathmandu, August 24

Top leaders and ministers, including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Leader of Opposition Sher Bahadur Deuba and Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal were not present today when the House of Representatives held a crucial debate on the stricture on violence against women.

The first rows of the treasury and opposition benches where top leaders sit were vacant in the House. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Population Minister Upendra Yadav and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa were also conspicuous by their absence.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishor Pokharel and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali were present during the debate but left in the middle of the debate.  Former Prime Ministers Jhala Nath Khanal and NCP (NCP) General Secretary Bishnu Paudel were also not present. Former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and former Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang were present, but left the hall in the middle of the debate.

General Secretary of NC Shashanka Koirala, NC leaders Prakash Man Singh, Bijay Kumar Gachhadar and Sita Devi Yadav were not present in the House for entire three hours when debate on the stricture on VAW took place. Another former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and top leaders from Rastriya Janata Party Nepal’s presidium team were also not present in the House during the debate.  “All House debates are important and it is better if all the   ministers and lawmakers take part in them,” Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe told THT.

Speaking in the House, NC lawmaker Amresh Kumar Singh said the top leaders from the parties and top ministers from the government didn’t take the VAW issue seriously. He added, “The topic we discussed was important, but look the presence of the top leaders of the parties! This shows how they took the issue.”